Despite recent reports that China’s breakneck growth has slowed — and for the first time in recent memory underperformed against analyst projections — the country’s luxury industry has proven to be a consistent economic bright spot. Evidence of this are fashion and beauty giant Christian Dior’s significant new initiatives there this week. First, the launch of Dior Mag in Mandarin. The fashion house publication’s third edition (French and English versions were released earlier this year), was a laudable effort in conception and execution but slightly clumsy in promotion. Instead of using a popular Chinese online platform like Sina Weibo or YouKu to tout the the inaugural issue, Dior chose Facebook, which is banned and inaccessible across the entire country. Metrics for success (e.g., likes, shares) suffered as a result.
The second major effort by Dior this week is their first-ever Chinese couture fashion event, which will take place tomorrow in grand style at the House of Roosevelt in Shanghai. With China’s fashion elite becoming regular fixtures on the international scene, it’s no surprise Dior would not only work to increase its footprint in China’s digital space but also start to cater in-country to its Anna Wintours, Tilda Swintons and Alexa Chungs with the same kind of high-profile events they often host in New York and Paris.
According to a Bain study released last December, Dior ranked behind fellow LVMH brand Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci as the fourth most desired luxury brand in China. With all these brands gunning for supremacy in the world’s most lucrative luxury market, it will be interesting to how these — and others ambitious, innovative brands like Burberry — stack up in the 2012 report.